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Fulbright University Vietnam welcomes Class of 2027 at Fulbright Convocation 2023

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On August 27th, Fulbright University Vietnam welcomed new students of the Class of 2027 with Fulbright Convocation 2023 ceremony themed “Flex. Converse. Immerse.” The event allowed new students to look back on their memorable journey thus far. Each student is joined by their peers. Together they will start their next endeavors and immerse themselves in the Fulbright spirit. 

Flex – Be proud of one’s own journey

The Fulbright community firmly believes that each student is a unique individual, with unique backgrounds, perspectives, goals, and journeys. Whether they be success or failure, happiness or challenges, all experiences deserve to be celebrated and cherished. They build courage, resilience, and determination towards maturity. Therefore, Fulbright Convocation 2023 encourages Class of 2027 to “flex,” to take pride in one’s experiences. 

Dr. Scott Fritzen, President of Fulbright University Vietnam, conveyed a similar message to the new students in his opening speech. “I want each of you to step into our institution knowing this: the Fulbright community takes pride in each of your individual values. Your success is our success – there’s no other definition. So, be proud of yourself – and we will be proud of you, both in good times and challenging moments. When you ‘flex,’ we also ‘flex’ – because you belong here.” 

Most importantly, “flex” signifies self-pride. It’s not about competing with others but rather recognizing one’s own worth and using it as a foundation for future steps. 

Fulbright University Vietnam President Scott Fritzen speaking during Convocation 2023 to welcome Class of 2027

“I want each of you to step into our institution knowing this: the Fulbright community takes pride in each of your individual values. Your success is our success – there’s no other definition.” – Fulbright University Vietnam President Scott Fritzen

Flex – Building Foundations for Future Breakthroughs

As evidence of this spirit, Tim Waale, representative speaker of the Class of 2027, recalled his personal journey. Tim used to be an 18-year-old student who doubted his abilities and who faced repeated criticism when he started out in professional basketball. But now, Tim is the captain of the Saigon Heat, leaving his mark with outstanding performance and social contributions. Tim achieved his current success through rigorous training and hard work. Tim Waale can cheer himself on in future steps because he has evidence of his abilities and dedication. The ultimate goal of “flex” is to strive for self-improvement.

Family check-in at Fulbright's Convocation 2023

Family check-in at Fulbright’s Convocation 2023

Converse – Mastering Information and Knowledge in the AI Era through Interdisciplinary Interactions

We are living in an era where artificial intelligence is rapidly advancing. Knowledge is everywhere, and anyone can access it. Yet even though AI can provide information to humans, it may not always provide the answers or the right direction. Disparate pieces of information will never become knowledge without being part of a nexus of meaningful connections, especially interdisciplinary ones. That is why Fulbright emphasizes and aims to provide an interdisciplinary education environment. This enables students to have a broad perspective, the ability to connect ideas, and the flexibility in mindset.

Fulbright alumni and teacher conversing on Fulbright Convocation Day

Fulbright alumni and teacher conversing on Fulbright Convocation Day

Take Computer Science and Engineering at Fulbright as examples. These courses not only provide specialized technical training but also offer insights into society make-up, history, management, communication, and more. Upon graduation, students not only possess solid knowledge in their respective area but also understand how their industry operates in practice and its related fields of work.

Converse – Deep Conversations and Knowledge Exchange

The importance of interdisciplinary exchange is further emphasized in President Fritzen’s remarks to Class of 2027. He said, “A Fulbright graduate, regardless of their specific major, can lead and solve any issue – because they will have the ability and confidence to evaluate and synthesize discussions across multiple fields, as well as work effectively in groups to tackle complex tasks.”

A Fulbright tradition: incoming Class of 2027 reciting the Student Honor Code

A Fulbright tradition: incoming Class of 2027 reciting the Student Honor Code

Furthermore, beyond reception, information only transforms into knowledge through critical exchange, deep discussions, and real world application. Education doesn’t merely provide knowledge; it instructs students on how to ask questions, seek answers, and apply knowledge to solve problems. At Fulbright, the liberal arts model prioritizes small class sizes and open curricula. Class of 2027 are encouraged to interact with professors and peers to foster curiosity, exchange perspectives, and absorb selectively curated knowledge.

Immerse – Becoming Part of the Fulbright Community

President Scott Fritzen encouraged new students to make the most of the valuable opportunities Fulbright has to offer. Getting to experiment, make mistakes, and grow are the greatest values of the student experience.

Fulbright President Scott Fritzen having a conversation with Mr. and Mrs. Nguyen Phuong Lam, benefactors of the Nguyen Phuong Scholarship for Fulbright students

Fulbright President Scott Fritzen having a conversation with Mr. and Mrs. Nguyen Phuong Lam, benefactors of the Nguyen Phuong Scholarship for Fulbright students

Fulbright aims to create an environment where students can develop both physically and mentally, both academically and in student life. The university campus sees student groups supporting each other in learning, engaging in conversations, and having fun. Professors immerse themselves with students to exchange knowledge and experiences. The academic programs are designed to center around experiential-learning projects to encourage teamwork and the practice of soft skills. Students’ well-being is carefully nurtured by the Wellness Center. And students have vibrant and exciting living experience through Residential Life activities.

Fulbright students and staff taking a selfie at Convocation 2023

Fulbright students and staff taking a selfie at Convocation 2023

Immerse – Fulbright is Always by Your Side

In particular, Fulbright values personal development and encourages students to be flexible in their journey to discover their own worth. Tim Waale, representative of the 2027 cohort, at 25 years of age, decided to return to Fulbright for academic pursuits due to a deep belief in an environment that can provide solid academic training while leaving room for students to pursue their passions. “I truly believe that everyone should have a well-rounded life as well as a well-rounded education. Follow your passions and your dreams. Take risks and break out of your comfort zone. Try a new sport, learn a new musical instrument. Never say ‘never.’ Who says you must choose one or the other here at Fulbright University, Vietnam’s first liberal arts university.”

"I truly believe that everyone should have a well-rounded life as well as a well-rounded education. Follow your passions and your dreams. Take risks and break out of your comfort zone. Try a new sport, learn a new musical instrument. Never say 'never.' Who says you must choose one or the other here at Fulbright University, Vietnam’s first liberal arts university." - Tim Waale, Class of 2027

“I truly believe that everyone should have a well-rounded life as well as a well-rounded education. Follow your passions and your dreams. Take risks and break out of your comfort zone. Try a new sport, learn a new musical instrument. Never say ‘never.’ Who says you must choose one or the other here at Fulbright University, Vietnam’s first liberal arts university.” – Tim Waale, Class of 2027

The closing of the 2023 Convocation featured performances by talented students from the 2027 cohort. The diverse performances served as a declaration of this year’s incoming class: Whether you are uncertain on the path to self-discovery or have a thousand passionate desires to conquer, do not fear or doubt. Embrace and “flex” all that you have experienced because they are the unique aspects of your journey to adulthood. Dare to exchange ideas with friends and teachers. Live fully in each moment. And Fulbright as a community will always be ready to accompany and support you!

 

Thanh Mai

 

More moments captured during Fulbright Convocation 2023

Fulbright students Class of 2027 and their parents on the morning of Convocation 2023

Fulbright students Class of 2027 and their parents on the morning of Convocation 2023

Incoming students Class of 2027 write down wishes for their college journey at Fulbright

Incoming students Class of 2027 write down wishes for their college journey at Fulbright

The winning team from Orientation Week's First Fulbright Project checked-in on event day

The winning team from Orientation Week’s First Fulbright Project checked-in on event day

The United States Consul General in Vietnam Ms. Susan Burns encouraged Fulbright freshmen as they took their first steps in their college journey

The United States Consul General in Vietnam Ms. Susan Burns encouraged Fulbright freshmen as they took their first steps in their college journey

The United States Consul General in Vietnam Ms. Susan Burns encouraged Fulbright freshmen as they took their first steps in their college journey

The United States Consul General in Vietnam Ms. Susan Burns encouraged Fulbright freshmen as they took their first steps in their college journey

Audience of Fulbright's Convocation 2023

Audience of Fulbright’s Convocation 2023

Fulbright parents in the audience

Fulbright parents in the audience

Fulbright President Scott Fritzen sharing about Fulbright's model of liberal arts education during his Convocation Key Speech

Fulbright President Scott Fritzen sharing about Fulbright’s model of liberal arts education during his Convocation Key Speech

Fulbright parents in the audience

Fulbright parents in the audience

Fulbright parents in the audience

Fulbright parents in the audience

Fulbright student Dance Club performed at Convocation 2023 to welcome Class of 2027

Fulbright student Dance Club performed at Convocation 2023 to welcome Class of 2027

Fulbright student Dance Club performed at Convocation 2023 to welcome Class of 2027

Fulbright student Dance Club performed at Convocation 2023 to welcome Class of 2027

The Fulbright Choir performed at Convocation 2023 to welcome Class of 2027

The Fulbright Choir performed at Convocation 2023 to welcome Class of 2027

The Fulbright Choir performed at Convocation 2023 to welcome Class of 2027

The Fulbright Choir performed at Convocation 2023 to welcome Class of 2027

Freshmen Class of 2027's performance at Fulbright Convocation 2023

Freshmen Class of 2027’s performance at Fulbright Convocation 2023

The audience joined in with Class of 2027's performance

The audience joined in with Class of 2027’s performance

Convocation 2023 started what promised to be another exciting academic year at Fulbright University Vietnam

Convocation 2023 started what promised to be another exciting academic year at Fulbright University Vietnam

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(English below) ASEAN SOCIAL IMPACT PROGRAM 2023 - VÌ MỘT “HÀNH TINH” KHỎE MẠNH HƠN Chương trình ASEAN Social Impact Program 2023 - ASIP (Tác động xã hội ASEAN) đã chính thức khép lại với phần trình bày ý tưởng của các đội thi. Trước ban giám khảo và các nhà tài trợ tài năng...

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(English below) ✨ LỜI CHÚC NĂM GIÁP THÌN 2024 ✨ Bước sang thềm năm mới Giáp Thìn, Đại học Fulbright Việt Nam xin được gửi đến mọi nhà lời chúc tốt đẹp nhất 🐉 Với trái tim tràn đầy hy vọng hoà cùng niềm vui đầu năm, chúng tôi vô cùng trân trọng sự tin tưởng và hỗ trợ vô giá Fulbright nhận được trong hành trình vừa qua, là động lực hướng đến những điều tuyệt vời sẽ tiếp nối trong năm nay 🌟 Nhân dịp năm Rồng, Fulbright xin kính chúc vạn sự hanh thông, mọi niềm mong thành hiện thực 🌟 --- ✨ HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR 2024 ✨ As we step into New Year, the Year of the Dragon, Fulbright University Vietnam would like to extend our best wishes to everyone 🐉 With hearts filled with hope and joy as we embark on the new year, we deeply appreciate the invaluable trust and support Fulbright has received on our journey thus far, serving as motivation towards the wonderful things that will continue in the year ahead 🌟 As the Dragon's year unfolds its tale, Fulbright extends wishes, setting sail. Prosperity's breeze, in every gale, May dreams come true, without fail 🌟

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